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Crimean Tatar Leader Arrested on Bogus Criminal Charges

In today’s Crimea, to be a member of the Crimean Tatar community is to be a target for the authorities. In the early hours of September 4, Russia’s security services raided the house of Nariman Dzhelyal, a deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar…
Nariman Dzhelyal in Crimea in 2019. 
News

France Complicit as Magomed Gadaev at Risk of Torture in Chechnya

Magomed Gadaev, 37, an asylum seeker from Chechnya and key witness in a high-profile torture case against Chechnya’s leadership, was abducted by Chechen security officials on April 11, two days after his deportation from France to Russia. France…
Magomed Gadaev pictured in Paris, France.
News

Government Should Protect Refugees, Not Send People Back to Dangerous Conditions

The Kenyan government has again issued an ultimatum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide a plan and timeline for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Though the government has issued these demands before, its…
Photo: An aerial picture shows a section of the Hagadera camp in Dadaab near the Kenya-Somalia border, May 8, 2015.
News

Authorities Restrict Traffic to Twitter for Refusal to Censor Content Online

Today, Russian authorities claimed they slowed down access to Twitter in Russia in response to the social media site’s failure to take down allegedly illegal content. Russian authorities have listed Twitter as a “threat” and have said they might…
A mobile phone user turns on Twitter application on his smartphone in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
News

Commitment from EU Governments Could Ease Crisis on Deadly Migration Routes

As the pandemic consumes Europe’s attention, a struggle for survival is taking place in the central Mediterranean. Since the start of 2021, at least 185 people have died in the stretch of waters between north Africa and Italy. Italian and European…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

Detention of Editor-in-Chief Highlights the Attacks on Journalism

Today, a court in Moscow sentenced Sergei Smirnov, editor-in-chief of the independent “Mediazona” news outlet, to 25 days in detention for “repeated violation” of the public assemblies’ rules. His offense? Retweeting a humorous tweet about Smirnov’…
The Editor-in-Chief of Mediazona, Sergey Smirnov, in front of Pskov Regional Court, after the trial of Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, Pskov, Russia, July 6 2020.
News

Authorities Use Politically Motivated Criminal Prosecutions to Silence Opponents

January 23 marks two years of house arrest for Russian activist Anastasiya Shevchenko. Police raided her apartment in Rostov-on-Don on January 21, 2019, before a court placed her under house arrest two days later. Shevchenko’s daughter has become her…
Anastasiya Shevchenko. 
News

Azat Miftakhov Sentenced to 6 Years on Controversial Hooliganism Charges

A court in Moscow has sentenced Azat Miftakhov, a postgraduate math student and political activist, to six years in prison on highly controversial hooliganism charges. His conviction follows investigation and a trial marred by allegations of torture,…
Mathematics and mechanics graduate student at Moscow State University Azat Miftakhov before the court session in Golovinsky district court. September 05, 2019. 
News

Parliament Should Reject Bill, Ensure Access to Information Online

On November 19, a draft law was submitted to Russia’s parliament that would give authorities power to block websites that have censored Russian state media content. The bill claims these websites violate Russians’ right of access to information.…
A man checks his smartphone while waiting to board a subway in Moscow, Russia, December 23, 2019. 
News

Irina Slavina’s Death Follows Police Raid on Her Apartment

Journalist and publisher Irina Slavina (Murakhtayeva) died after setting herself on fire on October 2, a day after a police raid on her apartment and following years of harassment by Russian authorities and others. Slavina ran Koza Press, an…
Irina Slavina poses in Nizhniy Novgorod, March 2019, in a photo posted to social media.
News

Court Upholds ‘Terrorism’ Convictions While Hundreds Remain in Prison

Last week, Russia’s Supreme Court upheld the terrorism-related convictions of 19 men who are all serving prison sentences ranging from 10 to 24 years because of their alleged affiliation with Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), an Islamic organization banned in…
Supreme court appeal hearing held via videoconference, September 2020.
News

Kremlin Critic is Fighting for His Life

Update (August 21, 2020): According to media reports, on the evening of August 21, Russian doctors in Omsk gave permission for Navalny to be medevaced to Germany for treatment. Consider this agonizing moment for Yulia Navalnaya. Her husband,…
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny takes part in a march in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2020.
News

Returns to Abusive Migrant Detention Centers Put Lives at Risk

Three young people are facing terrorism charges in Malta for refusing to be returned to almost certain detention and abuse in Libya. The “El Hiblu 3,” as they are known, appeared in a preliminary court hearing in Valetta on July 30; their trial is yet…
Migrants on a Libyan Coast Guard boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018.
News

Authorities Abuse Criminal Justice to Silence Independent Media

Today, a Russian court sentenced journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva to a fine of 500,000 rubles (approx. USD$ 7000) on bogus terrorism charges. The conviction of the journalist, who works for the Echo of Moscow and Radio Free Europe, is another…
Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva (left) attends the trial in the Second Western District Military Court.
News

Dennis Christensen Waits in Prison; Many Other Worshippers Await Prosecution

Everything seemed to be in place for Dennis Christensen to leave a Russian prison in early July. On June 23, a judge paroled him, after he served half of a 6-year sentence, while also ordering him to pay a 400,00 ruble (US$5,714) fine. Mr. Christensen…
Dennis Christensen (behind the windows) talks with his interpreter at the Zheleznodorzhy District Court in Oryol, January 28, 2019
News

Authorities Should End Sham Prosecutions and Allow Free Debate

Today, the trial against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva is set to start in Pskov, Russia, on groundless charges of publicly supporting terrorism. Authorities have indicted her for “public incitement to terrorist activity, public justification or…
Светлана Прокопьева выступает на презентации книги в Москве.
News

Journalists Assaulted, Threatened, Harassed

Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done…
Ferry passengers flee from police firing tear gas, after new measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus instead caused a crowd to form outside the ferry in Mombasa, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020.
News

COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News

Civilians Bear the Brunt of Renewed Fighting

Libya began descending into chaos after Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011. Could you summarize the complex situation in Libya today? The latest conflict started in April 2019, when an armed group in eastern Libya called…
Government of National Accord fighters take positions during clashes with east-based fighters from the Libyan National Army at Al-Yarmouk frontline in Tripoli, Libya on August 29, 2019.